The beauty of brunch lies in a plate of banana-chocolate-chip pancakes deemed socially acceptable after 2 p.m. or, better yet, the concept of a red-wine-poached egg expertly placed atop two lightly toasted English muffins and lightly drizzled in hollandaise.
A weekend craving filled with a cheese-oozing breakfast sandwich and a churro/doughnut hybrid have become a way of life for many cult brunchgoers. With the launch of Extra Crispy, a digital brand and website covering all things breakfast and brunch, its aficionados finally feel understood.
Extra Crispy, an editorial operation formed by Time Inc.’s Brooklyn-based creative lab the Foundry, is a multiplatform brand committed to telling all stories related to breakfast and brunch. The site features quick recipes for plates such as a potato-chip Spanish omelet and an open-faced soft-boiled egg sandwich, along with medium to longer reads, including the history of the toast sandwich, 13 rap songs about breakfast, and even how to eat breakfast like you're at Hogwarts. Extra Crispy prides itself on research-based, information-filled pieces, but the website is image-heavy too, featuring large photos, unique illustrations, and short and long videos adding to a story's overarching theme.
"No one really has a close relationship with lunch," laughs Meredith Turits, senior strategist at the Foundry and editorial director of Extra Crispy. "Dinner is something a lot of other publications do really well. But breakfast is this incredible thing that's happening. It's something that is so powerful culturally, and emotionally it's a really big and important meal too."
Content mixture is important to Extra Crispy, which is why the site sports a range of topics and sections, including features, recipes, histories, personal essays, booze, and, most important, bacon. To help cover its bacon beat, the website published an open call for a "bacon critic," who will serve a three-month fellowship researching, writing about, and critiquing bacon across the nation and eventually declare “America’s Best Bacon."
"Bacon is something we can have a lot of fun with," Turits says. "There's a culture around it — bacon toothpaste, condoms, costumes. There's also a sense of humor around it too."
Those applying for the bacon critic position need no editorial experience. Overall, Turits says, the brand isn't as focused on getting the best food writers as it is with bringing writers from different spaces who can cover global themes and issues.
"We are a site that is driven by voice," she says. "We're not a site that is snobby and trying to put food on a pedestal.
The idea for Extra Crispy began about six months ago, following the Foundry's launch of the Drive, a website concentrating on cars. Breaking into the food industry was something the Foundry always wanted to do, Turits says. The question was just, "How?"
"From a content perspective, it's something that has the potential to go viral too," she says, "like the rainbow bagel. There's a beautiful intersection that we couldn't help but notice."
Though there is no specific section covering Miami's brunch scene, Turits says Extra Crispy welcomes submissions from anyone in any location but won't produce hyper-local content on a regular basis.
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"Maybe we'll do something like '48 Hours of Brunch in Miami," she says. "But there are so many publications already who do an incredible job with hyper-local content, and we want to let them do that job."
For more information about Extra Crispy and its search for a national bacon critic, visit extracrispy.com.